Chesapeake, VA – Chesapeake lawmakers have outlawed trick-or-treating for children over the age of 12, but they are not the only municipality to impose such rules.
In Chesapeake, trick-or-treating is only allowed between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., and anyone over the age of 12 caught partaking in such activities is subject to a $100 fine and six months in jail for the misdemeanor offense, according to city law.
“Chesapeake Police staff will focus on making sure the evening is safe for everyone, not actively seeking out violations of the time or age limits,” the city explained on its website.
“For example, a [13-year-old] safely trick or treating with a younger sibling is not going to have any issues,” the city noted. “That same child taking pumpkins from porches and smashing them in the street more likely will.”
Chesapeake is one of nine towns in the state of Virginia to implement such regulations, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Some cities only allow teens 13 and over to go out on Halloween with a guardian or parent, while others restrict teens from going anywhere but to and from their workplaces.
And not all of the laws are new.
According to The Associated Press, some Virginia municipalities have had trick-or-treating laws in place since the 1970s.
"When I was a kid my father said to me, 'You're too damn big to be going trick-or-treating. You're done," Belleville, Illinois Mayor Mark Eckert told The Associated Press in 2016. "When that doesn't happen, then that's reason for the city governments to intervene."
Similar laws exist in Mississippi, South Carolina, and Maryland.
Several cities in North Carolina have implemented age restrictions and a 9 p.m. curfew, while areas of southern New Jerseys prohibit trick-or-treating after 7 p.m., WABC reported.
The National League of Cities doesn’t record city ordinances, and states have left such matters in the hands of local governments, so it is unclear how many cities have implemented such laws, according to The Associated Press.